There are so many decisions we need to make for conversations to go well. These decisions could range from listening to being constructive to being thoughtful about what we say. However, I’ve come to realize there is one conversation decision to rule them all.
And, that decision is whether or not to take it personally.
If we don’t explicitly make that decision, we might react defensively to everything that is being said. And, once we do that, it is very hard to recover. But, decide not to take it personally and we give ourselves the opportunity to listen, to understand, to be thoughtful and to respond constructively.
The key to making this decision is understanding that the issue is rarely about us. We might have contributed to it. But, it is unlikely it is about us unless we decide to make it so. The quicker we get out of the way, the sooner we can move to prompt resolution.
We have conversations very often. We might as well learn to do them well.